Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Mind you, I am not now, nor will I ever be, a life-style blogger.  But, as I seem to have a lot to say about life and sometimes, "style", it might just be time to start spewing forth some of the things that I hold dear and perhaps some that are new as the Winter insists on marching forward.  With each day that brings lower temperatures, I hold fast in my resolve to make the best out of all of it, to stay focused and to hug myself and those things that are working well.  The Italians call these "abbracci", a word that is derived from the word for "arms".  They so often end their letters with that word, sending the reader off basked in warmth and that is exactly why the word so easily comes to mind on this very, very cold morning.

Much to the surprise of many who know me well, I have discovered the world of tea and prefer it to an afternoon coffee.  It's an indulgence because loose tea is, as it was centuries ago, expensive.  So, I consider it a luxury item and feel totally worthy of every drop.  It was a wise woman who introduced me to a shop that sells only tea.  My daughter and I share this love now. So, it's about the hug that I give myself each time I brew and the hugs that each cup delivers from one I love so much. I just want to grab that adult child and pull her into my lap for a snuggle with my arms wrapped tightly, never letting go. Abbraccio.
Go here to find it if you haven't already:

My colored pencils and my great big mixed media tablet have become stationery members of the growing population of things that surround my recliner chair, the one that is right next to the baseboard heat.  Each time I pick one up to fill in the spaces on a doodle I've completed, I hug my son, the one with whom I share a love of the "process" and the materials.  I thank him for his encouragement and support and for his advice.  I would never have known that there was such a product as "mixed media" paper nor would I have known about luxury in art products.  My father gave me some cash for Christmas and a chunk of it went into my watercolor pencils.  Cup of tea in one hand, glorious pencil in the other, Winter afternoon bliss, filled with meditations that I would never have dreamed possible as I linger for a while in a world that was ours almost forty four years ago as I hugged and placed dreamy kisses on the cheeks of my first born, a Winter baby. Abbraccio.

And last, but certainly not least, on today's "lifestyle"  Okay, I'm a food snob. An earlier post or maybe two, might have given you the hint.  I LOVE supermarkets. And let's just set the record straight, I am not a compulsive over-eater.  But, I do love good food and appreciate that this, itself, can be viewed as a luxury item.  I don't smoke, rarely drink, and shop in thrift shops so, I can justify this indulgence.  As the Whole Foods Market bag suggests,"buy goods, not bads" and I can't think of a better way to hug myself, to affirm my personal worth, than to properly nourish...or, am I really taking about "nurture"?  I'll let you be the judge, allow you to wrap this whole story up in a big hug to yourself as I sign off with this, a little recipe for a great morning start, and a promise to talk "lavender" tomorrow as I continue to focus on enjoying the gifts of the season. Abbraccio mio amori.


1/4 C ground flax seed meal
1/2 t baking powder (make sure it is fresh!)
1/4 t Stevia powder
1 t cinnamon
1 egg
1 t olive oil
Optional add in's:  berries, walnuts, other nuts/seeds

1.  Mix all ingredients well in a coffee mug
2. Microwave for 1 min on high (1:30 if using fruit)
3. Dump out of mug onto a plate
4. Cool slightly and enjoy!

Makes a dense, bread-like muffin which is even better with a dab of jam.  I personally love fig jam and we use Earth Balance instead of butter.  Just sayin'

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